26 March 2011

April, the Kindest Month

2011 has been a year of mostly Mondays. Maybe something to do with the moon's closest hovering in decades... or simply a convergence of obstacles to test my endurance. Regardless, April promises a new mentor in my life, a second daughter. My little Zoe will be a big sister to.. baby Chloe.

On the poetic front, I'll be reading at the U.S. Embassy's American Center here in Prague, along with legendary Czech underground writer/musician/artist Pavel Zajíček and the notorious American fiction writer Brad Vice, to celebrate the release of a new Czech-English anthology (with a theme akin to 'self-exile') recently compiled and translated by poet-professors Matthew Sweney and Bob Hýsek.

12 February 2011

Small Towns and Bombs

What is it with small towns having so many bomb threats? I recall that as a teenager in north Georgia (the US state) the nearby towns would have them, and they were typically traced back to prank callers.

After attending Cirque de Glace today in Prague, which turned out to be a bit of a bomb but at least my daughter loved it (I would've preferred Cirque Erotique a la Plage), we headed home a different way to avoid the traffic that we were stuck in for far too long on the way to the event, and we ended up in the Czech town of Melnik, where we had dinner at a pizzeria and then stopped by TESCO (like a British Wal-Mart chain) on our way home.

We'd been there about 10 minutes when employees and a couple police officers began guiding everyone to the front, along with the news that there'd been a bomb threat.

In the US, a message like this would have sent shoppers running in a panic... but not here in old Bohemia -- no, Czechs being the infamous skeptics that they are, people just looked pissed off and slowly trudged along toward the front, many even stopping to buy smokes on the way out. I too doubted the reality of the threat, but I quickly got my daughter outside (just in case).

Afterward, I sent an sms to a friend who lives not far from there and mentioned sarcastically that "Melnik seems to be a hotbed of Muslim activity" (actually, probably the only extremist group anywhere near there would be Czech neo-Nazis), to which he reminded me that Czechs did invent Semtex.

01 January 2011

2010 in Literary Terms

In terms of English-language literary endeavors in Prague, 2010 was a flourishing year, seeing multiple launches and events surrounding:
Czech Literature Portal interviewed me (in English) early in the year (Czech-language version of the interview here), followed by a an interview with Black Heart Magazine at summer's end.

Haggard & Halloo Publications (Austin, Texas, USA) released the first printing of my own first book, Salty as a Lip, which SOLD OUT by the end of the year!

After various readings during the year at Shakespeare & Sons (Rakish Angel and Prague Microfest), Globe Books (GRASP), Anglo-American University (AAU Library - Spring Series), and Radost (Kral Majales launch), I was invited to read at Ostrovy bez hranic (Islands Without Borders festival, in conjunction with Palacky University), in the Moravian city of Olomouc (eastern Czech Republic), an experience that has turned out to be loosely connected with my poetry starting to be published in Czech (e.g., January 2011 issue of KAM v Brně, as well as an upcoming dual-language anthology of "self-exiled" poets in Czech Republic). Hopefully, my work will eventually make its way also into Slovak and Polish.